One Flash, One Model, and a Great Beach

Off Camera Flash at the Beach

For this shot of Danielle Winkler at San Buenaventura State Beach in Ventura, I set a Canon 320 EX on the ground pointing upward at her, then triggered it with a Canon 60D using the 15-85mm EF-S zoom set to 31mm. The built-in flash trigger on the 60D is very handy when you're traveling light, but still want to experiment with lighting.

I mounted a polarizer over the lens to maintain the tone in the sky. Exposure was 1/250th at f/5.6. The photo was processed in Aperture 3 with the Silver Efex Pro 2 plug-in. The image grain was added during processing. The original picture was captured at ISO 160 and is virtually noise free.

I had a blast during the entire shoot experimenting with different lighting configurations. Don't underestimate the results you can get with a single flash, a great setting, and a talented subject.

More Off Camera Flash Tutorials

If you want to learn more about getting pro results from simple flash units, be sure to check out my Off Camera Flash title on I show you all sorts of helpful lighting techniques that are especially good for portraits.

Off Camera Flash - Basic Techniques for Pro Results

Light Modifiers for Off Camera Flash

Off Camera Flash - The Single Light Portrait

Control Background and Subject with Off Camera Flash

"More Off Camera Flash" - Digital Photography Podcast 233

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1 Comment


That is a beautiful shot. I was on the same beach last Sunday (but by the pier) trying to shoot my friend and his girlfriend. The wind was blowing 20 mph with gusts even higher. Miserable. But we had been trying to arrange it for a couple of months. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

I had similar intentions as you. I had my off camera flash and a reflector. After we got out of the car at the beach and felt the wind, I left the reflector in the car and left the flash in my bag. We got a few OK shots despite the conditions.

I hope you were there on a different day ;-)